Beer was the highest growth category in this year’s BrandZ rankings -- up 36% year-over-year, according to the 2013 BrandZ Top 100 list of most valuable global brands, the 8th annual survey from WPP and Millward Brown.
Leading the list of beer brands is Bud Light with a brand value of $10.8 billion (up 30%), followed by Budweiser with a brand value of $9.5 billion (up 26%) and Heineken, up 36% with a brand value of $8.2 billion. Brazil's Brahma was the second-biggest-gaining brand overall, up 61% with a brand value of $3.8 billion.
Apple remains the BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand for 2013, worth $185 billion. Apple grew just 1% in the last year compared to a 51% growth for its closest competitor, Samsung, which is now the 30th most valuable global brand with a brand value of $21 billion.
Google is also a serious challenger for the No. 1 spot, reversing last year's decline to grow 5% in brand value this year to take the No. 2 spot with a value of $114 billion. IBM is No. 3 in the ranking with a brand value of $112 billion.
"Brand valuation and other measures that show return on marketing investment give marketers a stronger voice in the boardroom by ensuring that marketing is better understood and accounted for as a key driver of financial and business success," said Eileen Campbell, Global CEO of brand research company Millward Brown.
The top three soft drink brands remained Coca-Cola (brand value: $64.7 billion -- the 5th most valuable brand overall), Diet Coke (brand value: $13.7 billion) and Red Bull (brand value: $10.6 billion.)
McDonald's remained the top fast food brand of 2013 with a brand value of $90.3 billion (despite a slight 5% decrease) in a category marked by newcomers Chipotle (#6 with a brand value of $4.97 billion), Panera (#8 with a brand value of $3 billion), and Burger King (#9 with a brand value of $2.4 billion). Starbucks kept its #2 ranking, up 4% with a brand value of $17.9 billion, and Subway at #3, the biggest percentage gainer of any other brand since 2006, grew 12% to $16.7 billion.
Toyota became the world's #1 most valuable automotive brand, wresting the #1 spot in auto category from BMW by increasing its brand value 12% to $24.5 billion.
Amazon stole the top spot in the retail sector after losing ground last year to Walmart. Amazon's brand value increased 34% in the last year to $45.7 billion, making it the 14th most valuable brand in the world.
With a combined value of $2.6 trillion, the value of the Top 100 has grown 77% since 2006.
Top risers provide meaningful differentiation: The 10 brands that have gained the most value since last year scored significantly higher than average on the BrandZ equity measures of Meaningful, Different and Salient.
"This year's ranking highlights the return on investment that brands give businesses,” David Roth, CEO of The Store at WPP. “It shows that strong brands bring market share growth, increased profits from being able to command a price premium and greater shareholder returns."